Faculty Sponsors: Dr. Marco Meniketti and Mr. Alan Leventhal
Background: In 1989 Alan Leventhal in conjunction with student volunteers and members from the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and Amah Mutsun Tribal Band conducted an archaeological salvage program on a portion of prehistoric site CA-SCL-671, located in northern Morgan Hill at the historic Murphy Springs locality.
After obtaining a negative declaration from an Archaeological/Cultural Resource Management (CRM) firm the developer proceeded to construct a series of single family houses, thus unsuspectingly destroying a major portion of this site. After construction around the spring ceased the developer noticed an array of potential Native American artifacts in backdirt piles and he contacted Alan Leventhal for an assessment. Upon surveying the impacted areas of the site, Leventhal and Ohlone Indian tribal representatives from the two tribes began collecting many groundstone, flaked stone and formed artifacts such as large dart points from disturbed contexts. Based upon the types of archaeological artifacts recovered, the site had the potential of dating back to either Late Archaic and/or Early Bay time period (2000 – 4000 BC).
Leventhal requested permission to place a series of test excavations within an area that was to set aside as a park and slightly away from the area of impact. Several of the excavation units yielded stratigraphic integrity that included the superposition of mortars and pestles, manos and metates and flaked stone artifacts. Current research conducted as part of Leventhal’s Anthropology 195 class includes the comprehensive analysis of the recovered archaeological assemblage, temporal dating of the identified strata, obsidian sourcing and hydration studies and the writing of a final report co-authored with Matthew Diez.
College of Social Sciences Foundation Research Grant:
In order to accomplish the dating of stratigraphic living surfaces identified at this site, Anthropology Senior, Matthew Diez applied for a grant from the College of Social Sciences Foundation Research and was awarded $1350.00 for his research design. Before the end of the Spring 2013 semester, three samples will be sent to Lawrence Livermore Labs for C14 AMS dating. Once the results have been obtained, they will be posted here.